Limerick face struggle after heavy loss to Clare

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

ALTHOUGH only one game into the league campaign, Limerick already face an uphill battle to qualify for the final of Division 1B of the Allianz League.

ALTHOUGH only one game into the league campaign, Limerick already face an uphill battle to qualify for the final of Division 1B of the Allianz League.

But there was some solace for Limerick with news of Antrim’s win over Wexford. In the only other group game, Offaly were big winners over Laois.

After the 14-point loss to Clare, John Allen offered no excuses for the below par performanbce.

“There are no excuses,” he said as he shoke his head in disappointment.

“After 15 minutes it looked like we were going to dominate and dictate the game and then they took the initiative and started to dominate in the half forward and half back lines and they over ran us from then on,” he sighed.

“We came back a little two or three minutes before half time but they completely over ran us in the second half.”

It was Allen’s first real game in charge of Limerick and certainly a sobering affair.

“They were far better than us all over the field,” he said.

“Clare have probably done much more than us at this stage – I don’t think it was fitness, it was just that they were certainly much sharper than we were and when they got on top they had so much play,” said the Cork man.

“We are behind them in terms of fitness and sharpness but we have to keep the heads and focus on the next game. This is over and if we win the next four games we could make it to the final.”

But Allen was realistic about the chances of making the league final and secure promotion.

“On that performance we have a lot of work to do It was very tough there was no doubt about it,” said Allen.

“Maybe we were lulled into a false sense or security and thought we were better than we were in our two and a half games in the Waterford Crystal, where there was just a puck of the ball in it after two and a half games,” he said.

“Tonight it was all one way traffic in the second half – we were beaten in so many places. We had Shane Dowling in the first half scoring and threatening in the second but we were just terrible – there is no point saying otherwise Declan Hannon was a loss and then James Ryan went off injured almost straight away,” he bemoaned.

“It is a set-back there is no doubt – even if we didn’t win tonight and put up a good performance that would have pleased us We are playing in two weeks time against Laois away and there are four games left and we have to do our best to win all four but there is a mountain to climb. We were beaten in so many positions,” he said.

“There are leaders but because we were beaten in so many positions nobody was able to stand up. We can over analyse sometimes.”

In round two Limerick will travel to Portlaoise on March 11 to play the Teddy McCarthy managed Laois.